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Nare divides Orapa camp

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The international FIFA break this past weekend has been a stop and pause moment for BTC Premiership Orapa United to introspect on their 2017/18 season campaign. The Ostriches who are currently blowing hot and cold have since parted ways with their longest serving coach Madinda Ndlovu. However, Orapa Vice chairman Nkape said parting of the two parties was not influenced by poor results. “We have had a poor start to the season of course but we did not part ways with the coach based on this issue. We cannot discuss such matters yet,” he said.

“Everything you have been reading on newspapers and social media is actually true, I can confirm here today that we are no longer with Madinda Ndlovu, we have since parted ways with the coach,” he announced officially. Speaking on the side lines of the new Orapa kit launch, Nkape said they wanted to give an opportunity to a coach who has a better background of the local football while still scouting other coaches. “We believe local coaches are not highly equipped to bring all the silverware to a club so we want someone with vast of experience from outside the country.”

Madinda is the first coach to glow the Orapa United trophy cabinet after winning the 2015/2016 Mascom Top 8 with the club. However, the coach has been accused of causing unstable conditions and dividing players in the Orapa camp. Nevertheless favoritism is alleged to have been the main act of division with Ndlovu stripping Thabang Mosige of his Captain’s armband in favour of fellow countryman Tendai Nyumasi. Divisions have been reported out of the Orapa camp as the management is reportedly split in two.

‘There is a faction that favours Daniel Nare as the right candidate and there is another that prefers a foreign coach,” sources within the Orapa camp said. Nare is looking to take over the from the Zimbabwean coach after his former team Miscelleneous pulled an upset over the Ostriches recently at Itekeng Stadium. Nare will be expected to work as an assistant coach to Zimbabwe’s Beston Chambezi who is expected to return for another spell in the BTC Premiership. Chambezi will be able to sign with the Ostriches in January and expectations will be high with the management hoping that the team will go back to the then Glory days.

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Local boxers ready for regional tourney

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CONFIDENT: Newly unveiled LOC is confident that the regional tourney will be a success

Botswana Boxing Association (BoBA) this past Tuesday officially unveiled a Local Organising Committee (LOC) that has been tasked with preparing for the upcoming Zone 4 championships that are to be held in Botswana.

The team is headed by celebrated boxing legend France Mabiletsa and is expected to host more than seven countries that are expected to descend in Botswana in the next two weeks. Officiating at the event, Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Vice Chairperson Tsoseletso Magang said that BoBA officials should refrain from interfering with the task given to the LOC. She noted that many sporting codes often give the LOC the responsibility of delivering an event only for the code members to bully themselves into the affairs of the LOC and disrupts the preparations.

Magang warned that there is little time left before the tournament, and with that, the LOC will need all the support to ensure they deliver a successful event. She noted that hosting the regional tournament gave Botswana an upper hand of fielding more athletes that will have an opportunity to qualify for the Africa Championships scheduled for later this year.

For his part, Mabiletsa noted that they have already hit the ground running and confident that the event will be a success. The competition will be hosted in Botho College and they are in talks with Ave Maria to accommodate athletes. “Life will be made much easier for athletes if they are accommodated at Ave Maria because it is closer to the competition venue,” he said.

He explained that the zone is made up of 12 countries of Lesotho, Angola, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe among others. However as of this past Tuesday, only seven had confirmed participation and they expect to finalize the logistics by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, a formidable national boxing team of eight men captained by Mmusie Tswiiige (60kg) and three ladies led by Lethabo Modukanele (48kg) will represent the country at the regional tournament.

According to the Head coach Lechedzani ‘Master’ Luza, the team has been on camp for the past three weeks. In his opinion, the team is ready to compete. “Generally, they are not bad, we need to work on a few things such as power and speed on some boxers, the defence department is also not bad,” he said.

Luza noted that Botswana has always established herself as a powerhouse and there is no doubt that majority, if not all team Botswana members will win a medal during competition time. He explained that the competition was one of the many leading to Tokyo 2020 Olympics and will give local boxers an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics.

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Branch does it again

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Local motorcycle racing sensation Ross Branch has continued his stellar form after securing overall second position in the internationally renowned Merzouga Rally. The race came to a conclusion this past weekend and Branch has proven his mettle amongst some of the best rally motorcyclists in the world.

The podium finish is expected to take the Dakar Rally racer to even greater heights in the hugely competitive and expensive sport. It has been barely two months since the talented local rider emerged as a top class racer at the Dakar Rally where he finished 13 and walked away with the fastest rookie of the 10 000 km odyssey.

At Merzouga, things seemed a little better for the rider as the terrain offer sand and rock as opposed to the treacherous dunes in Dakar. Branch who was using a different navigation system in Morocco showed his pace after winning the fourth stage of the race last week Thursday.

Prior to his podium finish Branch said Merzouga was only his second rally and he was willing to learn from some of the top riders in the sport. The KTM 450cc rider said he was now setting his sights on other major races including the 2020 Dakar Rally that has been confirmed for Saudi Arabia.

Since returning from the Dakar, Ross has stayed busy and competed at the cross-country championship in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, where he finished fourth. The local rider is expected to compete at the upcoming 1000 km Toyota Desert Race, an event he has won more than seven times.

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